The University of California is committed to ensuring broad and unfettered access to the research and scholarship produced by its academic community. This commitment is manifest in the multiple “Pathways to Open Access” that UC pursues via the libraries–in collaboration with the faculty and other institutional partners–including transformative licensing agreements, open access policies, open infrastructure, and an open access library publishing program.

Pathways to Open Access Blog Series

The Pathways blog series, published in August 2022, highlights the California Digital Library’s engagement with various pathways to open access and illustrates how diverse approaches can complement and reinforce each other–and how they can also raise productive tensions that test the limits of any one model to provide the open access solution.

Günter Waibel, Associate Vice Provost & Executive Director of CDL, explains:

The University of California is dedicated to a “Pathways” approach to open access, which supports multiple strategies for moving scholarly communication to a more open and equitable environment. This paradigm frames how we advance our work at the California Digital Library (CDL). Debates about the value and efficacy of different approaches to Open Access are vitally important; they can also result in unproductive divisions instead of enabling us as a community to work towards our shared goals. In advancing these multiple pathways to Open Access at CDL, we embrace the diversity of our efforts as guided by our CDL vision, our deep collaboration with our campus libraries, our faculty’s principles, and a spirit of pragmatism and experimentation.

We celebrate the synergies across our innovative work in licensing agreements, library publishing, open access policies, open infrastructure and open data/metadata as opportunities to bolster our joint efforts; we leverage any tensions or misalignments that arise along the way to reflect on how each of our models in isolation is incomplete and must provide space for other approaches to shifting the scholarly communication landscape toward more open and equitable knowledge production and exchange. We understand and embrace the complexity inherent in our shared work towards these ambitious and important aims.

The series of blog posts linked to above highlights how CDL’s efforts on various pathways to open access live under a single organizational roof and illustrates how diverse approaches can complement and reinforce each other–and how they can raise productive tensions that push us to think more critically about the work we do. We believe this kind of approach can move us toward true and comprehensive transformation of the scholarly communication landscape.

Pathways to Open Access Toolkit

In February 2018, the University of California (UC) libraries and the California Digital Library released the Pathways to Open Access toolkit. The Pathways toolkit analyzes the many approaches and strategies for advancing the large-scale transition to OA, and identifies possible next action steps for UC system-wide investment and experimentation.

Choosing Pathways to OA (CP2OA) Forum

On October 16-17, 2018, University of California (UC) libraries hosted a working forum in Berkeley, California, called Choosing Pathways to Open Access (CP2OA). Sponsored by the University of California’s Council of University Librarians (CoUL), the forum was designed to enable North American library and consortium leaders and key academic stakeholders to engage in action-focused deliberations about redirecting subscription and other funds toward sustainable open access (OA) publishing.